Elegant and refined, Adelaide is Australia’s fifth largest city proud of its affluent heritage. This vibrant capital of South Australia remains unsullied by a penal colony past. Its layout was carefully crafted imparting a welcome sense of order balanced by a laidback vibe.
Today, Adelaide’s prosperity, built on mining and agriculture, is still proudly on display. Magnificent private mansions and grand public buildings command an important place amid modern high-rises. Museums, galleries, and gardens are some of the city’s finest treasures, and lovers of the arts can indulge in opera, symphony, and a flourishing live music scene.
North Terrace treasures
A handsome tree-lined boulevard graced by historic and cultural treasures, North Terrace is a great place to kick start with. Parliament House, at the intersection of King William Street and North Terrace, is perhaps the most imposing building in Adelaide with its monumental colonnade. Just down the street, cheek by cheek, the State Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, offer a triple dose of art and culture and are three of the city’s top attractions. Bordering these, the main campus of the University of Adelaide hosts the Mitchell Building, one of the city’s finest examples of Gothic Revival style.
The Adelaide Botanic Garden, a green thumb’s dream.
Wander through the wrought iron gates at the east end of North Terrace to enter a wonderland of botanical treasures. Established in 1855, Adelaide Botanic Garden features educational themed plantings such as medicinal plants, a Mediterranean garden, Australian native species, and a wetland designed to sequester enough water to eventually irrigate the entire grounds. Adjacent to it lies the Adelaide zoo where the giant pandas are the stars here, delighting young and old alike. Mortlock Wing
The State Library of South Australia surprises with its dramatic juxtaposition of old and new. The original library, housed in the adjacent 1884 French renaissance building known as the Mortlock Wing. Entering this grand old space is like stepping back in time. Multi-tiered galleries beckon high above, edged by elaborate wrought iron balustrades, and ladders reach up to leather-bound books neatly propped in the wooden shelves. Highlighting this flashback to libraries of old is a stream of natural light flooding through the glass dome in the roof. The Mortlock Wing is also worth a visit for its special collection of works on the history of South Australia.
Adelaide’s restaurant and bar scene is exciting. From 1990s, the city led Australia with innovative, adventurous dining. Adelaide having the best food market in Australia in fact one of the best in the world, also has one of the best “eat streets”, Gouger Street, which remains a mecca for polyglot dining. It had great coffee houses and baking houses along with authentic wines.